Purpose & Intent
Information Technology (IT) has become an integral part of our lives in a short while. Today most adults and students have access to multiple internet enabled devices at home or at their work places. Technology has also become an essential part of education here at Fountainhead School.
To be able to live, learn, and work successfully in our information-rich society, students must be able to utilize technology effectively. Many students’ lives today are filled with technology that gives them ubiquitous access to information and resources, enabling them to pursue their interests in their own way and at their own pace. The opportunities are limitless, borderless, and instantaneous. The ability to use the information & resources meaningfully and effectively is the one skill that will be valued in their careers in the 21st century. Further, technology enables the school to potentially differentiate content to individual needs of the students.
What we intend to do?
A large team at school has spent the last 18 months or so in discussing and debating the pros and cons of having 1:1 devices. We’ve done a lot of research and read about many examples of the same. We have seen some examples with our own eyes. And we are convinced that introduction of technology in this way has significant potential academic gains that far outweigh the issues that will also crop up along side.
From Grade 1-4, the school is investing into at least a set of 20 Chromebooks for each grade level so that they can access them far more frequently than they access IT devices in school right now. This will also prepare them to make the best use of the devices in their academic journey.
What are the specific advantages that we foresee?
We see the following very clearly:
- Improve student engagement by being able to engage students whose learning path and curve is different from the average students
- Address differentiation effectively by using numerous online resources such as khan academy and many more for language
- Allowing students to develop quality research, analytical, synthesis and critical thinking skills
- Bring the world closer by allowing for better opportunities for global exposure and collaboration
- Allowing for much quicker feedback on the student’s work, which will also be shared with parents hopefully leading to improved academic focus
And there are many more advantages that we have in mind and many that we will discover once we start.What’s our experience like? What’s the world doing?
Grade 9-10 has been bringing their own devices this year. While the devices were used sporadically, when they were used for two blended learning units as a pilot, the students engagement in learning was much better as they were able to move at their own pace. Grade 6 has been using devices for PYP Exhibition for the last 2-3 years and we know how much progress they are able to make due to the devices.
World over many schools are bringing in 1:1 devices, with whole districts in the US adopting Google Chromebook itself from a young age. An example many of us have witnessed closely is of American School of Bombay, a reputed IB school, where students have been using 1:1 devices from Grade 1 itself for the last 2-3 years and they are making a lot of academic progress using the same.Read More Here
Why have we chosen a Chromebook and not other devices? Read “Why Chromebook” section.
What steps can we take to ensure safety and prevent damage of the devices? Read “Safety Concerns” section.
How will can we ensure that the devices are used effectively at school and at home? Read “Parent Undertaking” section.
Firstly, Restricting the choice only to two models of Chromebooks will ensure that students don’t get into comparison of devices – which would have happened if there were a range of devices that students were allowed to bring.
More importantly, there are many technical reasons for the same:
We have used three different Chromebooks regularly over the last 1.5 years and we have found that it more than enough for all our requirements. We have done a lot of research over the last year before deciding on this device. We believe it to be the right device for the students for the following reasons:
Advantages of Chromebooks:
- Price: Price of a Chromebook is very budget friendly when compared to Windows laptops or Macbooks. They are very inexpensive , this is a pretty good reason to prefer a Chromebook.
- Booting Times: Chrome OS boots at flashing speeds, it just takes only 10 seconds for booting up. This a pretty good point when compared to Windows laptops.
- Virus Free: Chrome OS is based on Linux, which means possibility of getting infection is fairly low.
- Auto Update: Chrome OS can update by itself, means when you boot up it starts with automatic updated version.
- Multi-User: Chrome OS built with multiple log in feature, which lets login with different user accounts.
- Teacher Dashboard: This will enable the teacher to monitor the work being done by students on their chromebooks, will give the teacher control over their chromebooks through remote
- Chromebook management software: ChromeOS Management Console (perpetual license): This console will enable the school administration to configure and manage each Chromebook with ease, and will allow us to add security features (such as user restriction, apps restriction) as well allow many value-added features such as making a app landing page, online testing etc.
Differences in the features of ACER and HP Chromebook
|Acer C720||HP- Chromebook14|
|Weight||2.76 pounds||4.07 pounds|
|Screen size(diagonal)||11.6 inches||14 inches|
|Width||11.34 inches||13.6 inches|
|Depth||8.03 inches||9.4 inches|
Features, which are common in both the Chromebooks
|Processor||Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 Ghz|
|Graphics||Intel integrated HD (128 MB)|
|Memory||DDR3 2GB 1600 MHz|
|Storage Base Drive||Flash(SSD) 16 GB|
|Card Reader Support||SD|
|Port option- USB 3.0||1|
|Port option- HDMI||1|
|Port option- 3.5 mm Jack/Headphone combo||1|
|Wi-fi option||802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Battery- Size||3950 mAh|
|Battery- Quoted time||8.5 hrs|
We will have a number of policies, routines and procedures supported by effective training of students, teachers and parents to ensure that the potential safety issues are take care of.
Students will need to learn responsibility. Most of them regularly handle costly devices regularly at home and are capable of managing them. We will have to make them accountable for the same. So, every student will be fully responsible for the care and upkeep of his own device.
We’ve planned a few exercise to start off with in the beginning of the year such as taking care of a fragile object (such as a Khakra for 2 days) – only if you do this successfully then you get to bring your device.
We will then practice a number of routines and procedures to ensure that students how to take care of their devices – how to carry their device, what to do with the devices during the breaks etc.
We will also have classroom carts / lockers in every section to ensure safe keeping of the Chromebooks.
Each Chromebook will be clearly labelled with the student’s details (name, grade, section). Further, user logins to each Chromebook can be restricted by the school administrator meaning that you can’t login into other student’s Chromebooks. Therefore, even in case of a loss, no one else other than the student or school administrators can login into that device.
Some students may misplace their Chromebooks at times – the school will have a quick and efficient lost and found process dedicated to this.
Firstly, among students since all students in Grade 5 and above will own their own Chromebooks, it will mean that there’s very little reason to steal other’s laptops. Secondly, even if this happens, as mentioned above, you can’t login into other student’s Chromebooks. Finally, some rare cases of theft might still happen; therefore insurance against theft and damages is strongly recommended for each device.
Parent Undertaking for Chromebook